Summary: An exposition of the story of the Prodigal Son
The heart of The Father
This morning I want us to consider the well
known parable of the prodigal son.
It’s the story about a younger son who leaves his father behind
An older son who didn’t understand what
relationship to the father is all about.
And the focus of the story is on the great and
gracious love of the father
There are seven aspects to the message this
morning and they all begin with the letter R
Rebellion, Recklessness, Reflection,
Repentance, Reconciliation, Reaction,
Although the main focus of the Prodigal Son parable
is the ungracious brother, the assumptions made
about the Prodigal’s father are enlightening.
We can make some assumptions about the
background of the Father to the Prodigal Son.
It seems he had worked hard and saved money.
Maybe the world would be a better place if more
men had that attitude today.
Sadly, there are many men who seem to have no
desire to provide for or protect their families.
We can assume this Father had trained his sons as
most Jewish men did.
This father was probably a man who wanted his
children to walk with God.
He had probably trained his sons in the Hebrew
Scriptures, prayer, and godly living,
And he would have been active in their practical
training as well.
He would have probably hoped that his children had
learned good things from him.
Yet right at the beginning of the story of the
Prodigal Son we see Rebellion, in Luke 15:11-12
Jesus said: “There was a man who had two
sons. The younger one said to his father,
’Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So
he divided his property between them.” (Luke.
When the younger son asked for his share of his
father’s estate, his request was legal according to
Old Testament law but it was a Rebellious request.
Old Testament law stated that the younger son
was entitled to 1/3 of his father’s estate and it was
acceptable for a man to divide his estate among his
heirs while still alive.
But it was rebellious because the son was basically
saying: “Father, I wish you were dead! I’m tired of
you and I want to be free from your control over
The younger son’s attitude was marked by
sinfulness and selfishness - he had decided he
knew more about how to live his life than his father
When you were young maybe you thought you
knew better than your parents... Maybe your
children and grand children think they know better
than you... Nothing changes over the years does it?
Yet, the father in this parable shows love and grace
by allowing his son to choose his own path and he
gives his son the required portion of his own life’s
It seems like the younger son wanted what his
father could give him but did not want his father.
People who refuse to place their faith in God,
the people who refuse to give their life over to the
Lordship of Jesus Christ, are living their lives in
exactly the same way.
Even the people who call themselves Christians yet
ignore God until they want something are living in
They may pray, “Father God Give me!” But they
only want what Father God can give them - they do
not want Him.
May we never live or behave with Rebellion towards
our loving Father God.
Let’s look at verse 13. Luke. 15:13 – “Not long
after that, the younger son got together all
he had, set off for a distant country and there
squandered his wealth in wild living.”
“Distant country” that can represent any place
we’ve tried to go to get away from God.
If a modern psychologist analysed this parable,
he might say that the Prodigal left home because
his father oppressed him, or that he was sheltered
from life by his overly-protective mother and the
poor financial prospects in a profit-driven society.
Or blame could be focussed on the government
who should have provided more facilities to occupy
Others might argue that the Rabbis were not strict
enough, or because the boy was forced to go the
Synagogue every Saturday he was now rebelling.
Have you noticed how often people try and
blame others for the choices they make?
People try to avoid personal responsibility.
A person does something wrong and then defends
themself by blaming other people for their own
The parable says the son squandered his wealth.
The son, despite his father’s goodness made a
choice about how he would live his life.
It was a bad choice, but it was his choice, it is that
And that is still what happens today.
We each have free will.